Will Facebook’s Libre Coins Exist Soon? Ask Congress
For many years, Facebook literally ignored the existence of cryptocurrency as a potential business which the social media giant can engage with. As the year 2019 rolls-out, the Mark Zuckerberg-led company has decided to partner with another party, for the purpose of launching its own cryptocurrency, Libra coins. Being a global tech giant, Facebook will be one of the first household name billion-dollar companies to have its own cryptocurrency, an initiative which is now being blocked by U.S. lawmakers.
Californian Democrat District Representative, Maxine Waters, who also concurrently serves as the Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, is leading the charge of attempting to stop Facebook from launching Libra coins. The proposal is duly seconded by Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry, stressing that this action by Facebook is just a part of its unchecked expansionism.“With the announcement that it plans to create a cryptocurrency, Fcebook is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users. The cryptocurrency market currently lacks a clear regularly framework to provide strong protections for investors, consumers and the economy,” explained Waters.
Facebook for years was accused of unlawful data mining, using harvested data off its users for state control and unfair selling of user data to advertisers. This made some lawmakers to distrust the social media giant of being responsible for handling their customers’ personally identifiable information. They see cryptocurrency as another level of intrusion as well as privacy violation act of the company towards its users, given that Facebook has just recently settled with its case in connection with Cambridge Analytica.
“Regulators should see this as a wake-up call to get serious about the privacy and national security concerns, cybersecurity risks, and trading risks that are posed by cryptocurrencies. Given the company’s troubled past, I am requesting that facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a cryptocurrency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action,” added Waters.
The issue has crossed party lines, as Patrick McHenry sent a formal letter to Rep. Waters to support her advocacy, as he agreed with the need to investigate Facebook’s new exploration towards building a cryptocurrency for itself. “It is incumbent upon us as policy makers to understand Project Libra. We need to go beyond the rumors and speculations and provide a forum to assess this project and its potential unprecedented impact on the global financial system. I appreciate your prompt attention to this request and look forward to working with you to schedule this important hearing,” said McHenry.
Another lawmaker, Senator Sherrod Brown also expressed sentiment in Twitter, highlighting that Facebook has abused its users’ trust in the past, and allowing it to start its own cryptocurrency is like allowing an external Swiss company to operate with no oversight. This comment by the Senator was about Facebook’s partnership with a Swiss company for the development of the cryptocurrency. The Senator wish not to have a company outside of the United States have something to do with the development of a Facebook cryptocurrency.
From the point of view of Facebook, everything about its Libra coins is in full motion. The company’s Libra coin uses a protocol that is promised to be open-source, hence anybody may audit how the new cryptocurrency will work from a fundamental level.